As I’ve pondered the rise of Donald Trump in American politics, it’s occurred to me that we simply like that he’s humiliating politicians in public for our enjoyment. While he’s purported to “speak his mind,” I don’t find much mind-matter being spoken as much as off-the-cuff lobbing of juvenile insults which have been surprisingly effective in vanquishing his opponents.
In other words, humiliation is a powerful weapon.
When younger, I was sure my violence-obsessed culture would bring back the public hanging. We’re getting close to it emotionally with constant humiliation which is like the hanging of the ego rather than the body.
“Cringe” is not a new word or some social media lingo. But “cringe-worthy” is a term I’m hearing more and more during this election suggesting the rise of public humiliation. The humiliation is so intense that the empathetic amongst us are feeling embarrassment for these people the same way you do when hearing off-key karaoke by young, ambitious singers.
Cringing, embarrassing humiliation is the new norm. While it used to be a once-in-awhile public affair, it’s becoming increasingly common. Let’s study it.
A Psychology Today article on humiliation differentiates it from embarrassment in that embarrassment rises from the self while humiliation is from others.
Another point of difference between humiliation and embarrassment is that humiliation cuts deeper. Humiliation is traumatic and often hushed up, whereas embarrassment, given enough time, can be sublimed into a humorous anecdote. More fundamentally, humiliation involves abasement of pride and dignity, and with it loss of status and standing.
In an interesting note that lends directly to astrological elements, the author explains the word origin of humiliation:
The Latin root of ‘humiliation’ is ‘humus’, which translates as ‘earth’ or ‘dirt’.
Earth. Humiliation brings us to the ground. It sounds a lot like humility. We could wax spiritual and say humiliation brings humility but what other choice is there in humiliation?
The article sums up the concept of humiliation by noting:
In short, humiliation is the public failure of one’s status claims.
To humiliate someone is to assert power over him by denying and destroying his status claims.
Astrologically, the 10th house of the horoscope represents our public selves. Malefic planets transiting that house are often associated with negative hits to the reputation.
For example, when Richard Nixon resigned the presidency in 1974 from the Watergate cover up, Saturn was transiting his 10th house (in Cancer). Saturn is an ancient malefic due to its contracting principle and in Cancer was rejection from the group – he no longer belonged. For the extremely ambitious Nixon, rejection from politics was ejection from his primal energy.
While Nixon has the traditional astrological indicator for a public humiliation, I don’t see the same for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in 1998 when her husband was publicly recognized as a philanderer and perjurer and subsequently impeached.
During that episode, Jupiter was transiting her moon (in Pisces) and Pluto was transiting her Jupiter (in Sagittarius). For Clinton, humiliation came with Jupiter which is our social environment (schools, churches, clubs, the playground, etc.). Jupiter on Pisces moon increased that placement’s tendency to self-sacrifice, victimization and great emotional pain. Pluto on Jupiter suggests transformation of the social energy which in Sagittarius gears toward philosophy, travel and foreigners. Sagittarius is also idealistic and energized when fighting for causes so for Clinton this is probably the “day the music died” for her.
She clearly was deeply saddened, even depressed, regardless of the public response.
While there are so many public humiliations and so little time, I suspect that what’s most humiliating for each of us is determined by our fundamental personality (which I believe sprouts our values). Huma Abedin works with Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and is also married (for now) to fallen politician Anthony Weiner.
In 2011 when Abedin’s husband politician Anthony Weiner was caught “sex texting,” Abedin did not have the same aspects that occurred with Nixon or Clinton during their public humiliations.
Saturn was transiting her natal Pluto (in Libra) while transiting Pluto was square natal Pluto. Uranus in Aries was not quite in square, but you get the idea. Squares are friction and we saw a lot of world friction at that time.
Saturn in Libra challenged many relationships. In Libra, partnership and balance are key and breakups during this time centered on the unfairness of relationships.
Abedin chose to stay in her marriage during these transits. Then in 2013 while her husband was running for mayor of New York City, another sex-texting episode occurred. By this time, Saturn has moved into Scorpio which brings more emotional intensity than Libra.
If you’d like to watch the 2013 humiliation of Abedin yourself, just check out the documentary Weiner which follows both Weiner and Abedin during his run for mayor. In today’s parlance this documentary is truly cringe-worthy.
Now in October 2016, Abedin’s emails were found on her husband’s computer and made grievous news for her boss Hillary Clinton who is two weeks away from a presidential election. Currently Jupiter is transiting her natal Pluto in Libra.
Why would Abedin and Weiner agree to be filmed during a political race after a public humiliation?
Both Abedin and Weiner have moon in Leo which is most fond of being center of attention.
Abedin has more than moon in Leo – she also has sun, Saturn, Venus and Mercury in that sign, in that order. Without time of birth, the moon may be last or possibly tucked in between Saturn and Mercury.
A whole lot of Leo likes a whole lot of attention. Yet, here’s the kicker, Saturn the great taskmaster sits amongst all that fiery optimism. For Abedin, her greatest gifts also contain her weakest link and strongest lessons. It’s like being given beauty but sent to a convent. It’s a beautiful woman who questions every day whether she is truly beautiful. If not careful, she could turn into the evil stepmother of the Snow White fairy tale who fears a greater beauty by trying to snuff it out.
Saturn conjunct sun also represents a strong father figure. Moon in Leo suggests a strong mother and combined you have a dignified, royal upbringing regardless of true status. According to Wikipedia, both of her parents were scholars.
Natal Jupiter in Taurus suggests abundant material wealth, love of objects and physical sensuality. Combined with Leo (which is truly a friction-filled square), there is strong sexuality and sensuality.
The only restraint to that sensuality and passion is Mars in the pristine Virgo (square natal Neptune in Sagittarius).
So what’s unique about Abedin’s recent humiliating experiences?
The humiliation began and is continuing with strong transits to Pluto in Libra. This placement suggests transformation from partnerships. Pluto is well-aspected in Abedin’s chart so I wouldn’t have suspected she would go through such experiences.
Abedin’s overall chart represents a strong, proud, dignified person with seven of the ten planets in fixed signs (five in Leo, one in Scorpio and one in Taurus). Libra, in contrast, is dependent and accommodating – not her style. Unfortunately, we don’t know in which house it is placed in the horoscope (need time of birth for that).
What comes to mind is Queen Elizabeth I who in the 16th century assumed power after the death of her sister, who didn’t fare so well in power after her father Henry VIII.
Through her reign, Elizabeth was encouraged to marry and had several failed attempts. It’s not difficult to imagine why she chose the single-woman path during that life – any male counterpart would have certainly tried to usurp power. Elizabeth chose to keep her power to herself.
Possibly Abedin needs to keep her power to herself. That might seem a strong feminist statement but I believe there is still psychic pressure for both genders to fulfill in their traditional spheres – men in the public sphere (career, politics) and women in the private sphere (family, children, home).
Astrologically, a chart is neither female nor male. Abedin’s chart represents a strong personality and she happens to be female. If she happened to be male, would she have stood behind a sex-texting wife and defended her?
Abedin’s unique humiliation is that she is a strong, proud person who might have decided to suffer because of that Saturn in Leo – possibly part of her felt she caused the situation by not being “enough” something. Mars in Virgo can contribute to the desire for perfection.
The good news is that Leo always bounces back and Abedin has lots of Leo with which to recover the sense of self and self-esteem. As transiting Jupiter and Pluto move away from her natal Pluto, I suspect she’s learned her lessons on the power of humiliation from trusted partners.
Your work is always engaging and interesting. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but my sense about Weiner is that he really could not be shamed out of being proud of his sexual anatomy. “Leo always bounces back.” I like this as a handy aphorism. However, I read somewhere that Leo is the most suicide-prone of the signs because, if they lose their pride, they see no purpose in going on with life. I don’t know of any studies that might back this up or debunk it. But it struck me personally because the two suicides in my family of origin were the two Leos, the two “movie stars” among us. In these two cases, anyhow, truly — when they lost that essential spark of pride in themselves they were gone.
Interesting comments. I’ll have to research Leo suicides. I’ve only met one depressed Leo in my life. Possibly it’s the fixed nature to see things in extremes – all or nothing. I’d be interested to know moon signs for the Leos in your family and moon aspects.
Yes, indeed, it was “all or nothing” in both cases. A really extreme but vivid example in this regard, because he wrote down quite a bit of his viewpoint beforehand, is the California shooter, Elliot Rodger.